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How Much Money Furiosa & The Fall Guy Are Expected To Lose At The Box Office

Two of 2024's biggest — and most exciting — blockbusters radically underperformed at the box office this year, leaving studios scrambling to explain why these huge, star-studded movies are both set to lose money.

"The Fall Guy" and "Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" both released in May of this year, and despite being led by Ryan Gosling and Anya-Taylor Joy — two beloved Hollywood A-listers — they both flopped at the box office. According to a report in Variety, both movies failed to make back their budgets; as the outlet pointed out, "The Fall Guy" made $165 million across the world on a budget of $140 million, which means it would have needed closer to $300 million in profits to truly make its budget worthwhile. "Furiosa" had a higher budget of $168 million and has, as of this writing, made $144 million at the box office, and though insiders quoted in the article say that it would have had to make nearly $375 million to turn a profit, others claim that the actual hypothetical number would be loser. In any case, "The Fall Guy" will likely lose up to $60 million and "Furiosa" could lose as "little" as $75 million or as much as $95 million for each film's respective studios (the former was distributed by Universal Pictures and the latter by Warner Bros).

Okay, so in plain English, what does this actually mean? Yes, on the surface, both films mark financial losses for their studios — but were they even given a fair chance to succeed?

Both Furiosa and The Fall Guy were stuck with abbreviated theatrical releases — and never got the chance to really grow

Let's look at some dates really quickly to try and figure out where "The Fall Guy" and "Furiosa," two films that probably felt like surefire blockbusters before they hit theaters, went wrong — or rather, what the studios did to wrong these solid movies. "The Fall Guy" released on May 3 of this year and inexplicably showed up on VOD, or video on demand, on May 21 — just 18 days later. "Furiosa" came out on May 24 to kick off Memorial Day weekend in the United States ... and just a month later, it's expected to be available on VOD on June 25. 

It feels ridiculous to claim that either of these movies truly "flopped" at the box office when the fact of the matter is that they're simply an example of an unsettling new trend in Hollywood — which is that studios are punting films directly to streaming services or sending them right to VOD so that audiences can rent them at home. Certainly, the experience of watching either of these action-packed movies would be better in a theater, and neither of them got much of a chance to gain any traction. Other 2024 films have managed to pick up steam after a few weeks in theaters; Sydney Sweeney and Glen Powell's romantic comedy "Anyone But You" completely broke the typical box office mold when the studio simply let it cook for a while. Meanwhile, the third "Knives Out" movie will have an abbreviated theatrical run — like its predecessor "Glass Onion" — if it doesn't just go directly to Netflix. In a world where all of these things are true, is box office performance even a good indicator anymore?

Are box offices a solid bellwether of success in a streaming age?

At this point, we have to ask an important question: how much can opening weekends still matter in an age where streaming movies are starting to truly edge out theatrical releases? Based on the wildly small theatrical windows given to both "Furiosa" and "The Fall Guy" by their studios, it seems as if studios are basically training audiences to assume that if they can't find the time to go and see a movie in theaters, they can just wait a few weeks and pay a (pretty inflated) fee to just watch it from the comfort of their own couch. The studios can't have it both ways; they can't shove movies into VOD or streaming services and also expect that they'll crush the box office. "Barbie," the biggest box-office hit of 2023, didn't hit VOD for months ... and it earned well over a billion dollars when all was said and done.

As of this writing, "Furiosa" has a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and "The Fall Guy" sits at a healthy 81%. It feels safe — and unfortunate — to say that studios who got spooked by the poor box office returns from these films will assume that making anything similar will yield the same result. In actuality, the moviegoing landscape is changing, and the studios are partly responsible for these changes ... so they'll need to figure out a way to time theatrical releases and give movies a chance to make back their budgets going forward.